Talk to Me, Goose: Learning Languages and Bridging Cultures in Your Travels

Parlez-vous français? ¿Habla español? Ξερεις να μιλας ελληνικα? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Parla italiano?An bhfuil Gaeilge agat? Знаеш ли български език? Fince konuşuyor musun? Sen Türkçe konuşmayı biliyor musun? If that paragraph leaves you wanting to say, “That’s all Greek to me,” don’t worry—you’re not alone. The European Union is (currently) comprised of 27 countries: all…

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The Allure of the Ligurian Sea

The Ligurian Sea—the liquid azure arm of the Mediterranean caressing the northwestern rocky coastline of bella Italia. Its reach extends from the French/Italian border southeastward towards La Spezia, Pisa, and Livorno and forms a triangle to the northern tip of Corsica. Just north of La Spezia are a string of little towns collectively known as…

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A Travel Angel at the Vatican: Exploring the Papal City-State with the Wife of a Swiss Guard

So often when I travel, I feel like the universe conspires in my favor. Perhaps I’m inclined to be more open to adventure and opportunities that come my way, or maybe, because I seek those moments, I recognize them more readily. Or perhaps there truly is a divine hand at work that guides me towards people and circumstances that stretch and shape me for the better. Whatever the reason, in that chapel and in that moment, I knew precisely how fortunate I was, and I was grateful.

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The Dynamite Dolomites: Easy to Access, Easy to Love

I’m not what one would call an outdoorsy kind of person, and no one ever mistook me for a Birkenstock-wearing “granola girl,” but I sure do love hiking in the Alps. Our outdoor-loving and nature-respecting European counterparts make getting there so easy. From well-groomed trails and mountain huts to clear signage and industrial-strength cable lifts,…

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Walk Like a Roman

When I think of Rome, I recall ancient sites, coin-filled Baroque fountains, sexy (and not-so-sexy) men casting Ciao, Bellas at every passing female, and platefuls of pasta that, without fail, end up blissfully in my belly.  Equally engrained in my brain are nostalgic, cinematic images of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn zipping on a Vespa…

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“Freeky Fries” and Fancy Rest Stops

When I think back to road trips that I’ve taken in the U.S., I don’t fondly think of rest stops.  More often than not, I recall dimly lit parking lots, shady-looking characters lurking by a picnic bench taking drags off slinky cigarettes, seatless toilets in malodorous bathrooms, and–if you’re lucky–there’s toilet paper.  I once got…

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